The Michigan Daily - Wednesday, September 14, 2005 - 7
Continued from page 1
But more rooms are needed.
The room in the League is well
used: On Monday afternoon there was
even a line, as two students waited in
* the hallway.
Noha Elmouelhi, president of the
Muslim Engineering Student Asso-
ciation said students on North Campus
have time to pray, but no place to go.
Elmouelhi and other members of
her group began talks with the Office
of Student Affairs back in January to
find a place for a second Reflection
Room in Pierpont Commons or the
Duderstadt Center. Efforts continued
during the semester and into the sum-
mer, to no avail.
The group gathered 179 signatures on
an online petition to show the Univer-
sity that the issue was important. So far,
six additional student groups have sup-
ported the petition, and Elmouelhi said
when it reaches 200 signatures, they
will take it to the administration.
Despite the petition, the response
may still be the same - wait.
It's not that the University doesn't
see reflection as a priority, University
officials said. Frank Cianciola, senior
vice president of student affairs, said
the University recognizes the issue as
a legitimate need and is committed to
finding a space.
"There is no space here that is not
being used," said Michael Swanigan,
director of Pierpont Commons.
With space in Pierpont and the Dud-
erstadt Center already dedicated to
other student groups and pressure on
the administration to open more food
services, Cianciola said his hands are
"It's very difficult when you have
limited space and legitimate, com-
peting needs," he said, adding that in
order to open a reflection room in Pier-
pont or Duderstadt in the near future,
another student group would have to be
To find a creative solution, the Mus-
lim engineering students and the Office
of Student Affairs are considering other
buildings on North Campus, such as the
old media center or a classroom within
one of the schools.
But "there is no 'space czar,' "
Cianciola said. The space on North
Campus is controlled by a number
of departments. To open a room in a
building not controlled by the Office
of Student Affairs, Cianciola and his
staff must persuade other departments
to reserve a room.
While Cianciola said he and his staff
are working diligently to find a solu-
tion, he said they have no timeframe for
opening a reflection room.
The Muslim Students' Association
has also raised the possibility of open-
ing additional rooms on Central Cam-
pus, namely in Angell Hall and the
"We asked for the Chem Building
because there are labs that are four
hours long, and you don't have a 10 min-
ute break in between," Shuttari said. "It is
a key location."
Part of the petition states that a reflection
room would benefit "students of all faiths
and beliefs." Loren Rowry, a custodian who
works in the Michigan League, agrees.
Although he is not a student, Rowry, who
said he is spiritual but not religious, visits the
reflection room five days a week.
"It's a chance to get away, calm down and
gather my thoughts," he said. "I value that
time highly. This is the only job I've ever had
where I could do something like this."
Clockwise from top left: Evacuees pick up medical supplies from volunteers in the Brown Convention Center; a
family of evacuees sits outside of the Reliant Center in downtown Houston, waiting for a ride to the train station so
that they can make their way to Baton Rouge, where they hope to start a new life; a makeshift tent is transformed
Into a chapel as evacuees sing and pray with a gospel choir and preacher outside the Astrodome in Houston.
Continued from page 1
well as the Federal Emergency Manage-
ment Agency's oft-criticized job han-
diing the crisis.
One passing evacuee yelled "George
W. Bush is a criminal, he doesn't give a
damn about us, he stole our money and
The main protester, evacuee Gloria
Rubac, chanted "Get the troops out of
Iraq - get the money to the people
of New Orleans" and "Justice to New
Orleans, justice to the victims of Hur-
Other evacuees criticized FEMA's
ongoing recovery efforts.
Evacuee Lisa White said she blames
FEMA for being unable to find her
temporary housing. White said FEMA
told her an apartment in Houston was
available to her, free of charge for the
next two months. But upon attempting
to move into the apartment, White said
"FEMA is stealing my money."
- Lisa White
the landlord wanted her to pay for the
rent. With barely any money on her,
White said she had no choice but to
return her shelter in Reliant Center.
"FEMA is stealing my money,"
Similar criticisms caused-FEMA
Director Mike Brown to step down
Monday. He had already been
stripped of his duties to supervise
the rescue efforts in New Orleans the
Most of the evacuees The Michi-
gan Daily interviewed described a
difference between the government
relief available in Houston and those
in News Orleans. Many applauded
Houston's hospitality. But there were
Thea Elder, who is black, carried
a sign at the Sunday protest that read
"Impeach Bush, Race Matters."
Elder said she and her fiancee Nich-
olas Miller, who is of mixed ethnic-
ity, had been given "No apartment, no
help" despite promises that they would
receive housing since they evacuated
New Orleans, when authorities told
them to do so. Elder said she believes
the reasons they have received little aid
are because of racism.
On Monday in New Orleans, Bush
denied that poor black victims of the
hurricane were ignored because of
their skin color and economic situa-
tion, the Associated Press reported.
Bush: Govt responsible
for recovery failures
WASHINGTON (AP) - President
Bush for the first time took responsi-
bility yesterday for federal government
mistakes in dealing with Hurricane
Katrina and suggested the calamity raised
broader questions about the government's
ability to handle both natural disasters and
"Katrina exposed serious problems
in our response capability at all levels of
government," Bush said at a joint White
House news conference with Iraqi Presi-
dent Jalal Talabani.
"And to the extent that the federal gov-
ernment didn't fully do its job right, I take
responsibility. I want to know what went
right and what went wrong," said Bush.
Facing sharp criticism and the lowest
approval ratings of his presidency, Bush
scheduled a speech to the nation from
Louisiana for tomorrow evening. It will be
his fourth trip to the devastated Gulf Coast
since the storm struck two weeks ago.
It was the closest Bush has come to pub-
licly faulting any federal officials involved
in the hurricane response, which has been
widely criticized as disjointed and slow.
Some federal officials have sought to
blame state and local officials for being
unprepared to cope with the disaster.
Sen. Mary Landrieu, (D-La.), welcomed
Bush's conciliatory remarks. "Accountabil-
ity at every level is critical, and leadership
begins at the top," she said.
Other Democrats were less charitable.
"The season has come for Americans
to look homeward ... instead of continu-
ing to spend billions of dollars in Iraq,"
said Sen. Robert C. Byrd, (D-W.Va.).
And Louisiana's Democratic gover-
nor, Kathleen Blanco, accused the Fed-
eral Emergency Management Agency of
moving too slowly in recovering the bod-
ies. The dead "deserve more respect than
they have received," she said at state police
headquarters in Baton Rouge.
Meanwhile, R. David Paulison, in his
first full day on the job as acting FEMA
director, told reporters in Washington the
government would step up its efforts to find
more permanent housing for the tens of
thousands of Hurricane Katrina survivors
now in shelters.
"We're going to get those people out of
the shelters, and we're going to move and get
them the help they need," Paulison said.
Bush selected him to replace Michael
Brown, who resigned on Monday after
being recalled as the top onsite disaster-
relief coordinator. Brown, a Republican
lawyer with little previous disaster-man-
agement experience, drew fierce criti-
cism for his handling of the crisis.
Continued from page 1
tee was a "standard University tactic,"
because the committee is not yet in ses-
sion and there are no students among its
"There should be student presence
on the committee when it meets," Rah-
He added that SOLE's future plans
include educational events in the next
few weeks to put increased pressure on
the University to act.
Continued from page 1
to take Korean, but she said some
students might not want to take the
extra semesters of a different lan-
guage just for fun. "(The require-
ment) punishes people who want to
try new things," she said.
Paige Butler, LSA-SG vice presi-
dent said, "I think as elected mem-
bers we need to think about what
the greatest good of students is,
and I think that is to give them an
- Chastity Rolling
contributed to this report.
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